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Pediatrics. 2018 Dec;142(6). pii: e20181428. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-1428.

MOCA-Peds: Development of a New Assessment of Medical Knowledge for Continuing Certification.

Author information

The American Board of Pediatrics, Chapel Hill, North Carolina;
School of Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts; and.
RTI International, Durham, North Carolina.
The American Board of Pediatrics, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) certifies that general and subspecialty pediatricians meet standards of excellence established by their peers. Certification helps demonstrate that a general pediatrician or pediatric subspecialist has successfully completed accredited training and fulfills continuous certification requirements (Maintenance of Certification [MOC]). One current component of the MOC program is a closed-book examination administered at a secure testing center (ie, the MOC Part 3 examination). In this article, we describe the development of an alternative to this examination termed the "Maintenance of Certification Assessment for Pediatrics" (MOCA-Peds) during 2015-2016. MOCA-Peds was conceptualized as an online, summative (ie, pass/fail), continuous assessment of a pediatrician's knowledge that would also promote learning. The system would consist of a set number of multiple-choice questions delivered each quarter, with immediate feedback on questions, rationales clarifying correct and incorrect answers, references for further learning, and peer benchmarking. Questions would be delivered quarterly and taken at any time within the quarter in a setting with Internet connectivity and on any device. As part of the development process in 2015-2016, the ABP actively recruited pediatricians to serve as members of a yearlong user panel or single-session focus groups. Refinements to MOCA-Peds were made on the basis of their feedback. MOCA-Peds is being actively piloted with pediatricians in 2017-2018. The ABP anticipates an expected launch in January 2019 of MOCA-Peds for General Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Child Abuse, and Pediatric Infectious Diseases with launch dates for the remaining pediatric subspecialties between 2020 and 2022.


Conflict of interest statement

POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Drs Leslie, Carraccio, Dwyer, and Althouse and Mr Turner are all employees of the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) and receive salary compensation for their work at the ABP. No additional support was provided for the research described and/or manuscript production. Dr Olmsted is an employee of RTI International, a research organization contracted through the ABP Foundation to assist in the design and conduct of the stakeholder engagement activities described in this article and the subsequent evaluation of Maintenance of Certification Assessment for Pediatrics. RTI International received funds for these activities and for time spent drafting and editing the manuscript.

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